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Tesco Bank has launched Clubcard Pay, an interesting new debit card product that you top up from your bank account.

We are writing about it because you earn Clubcard points on each transaction you make using Clubcard Pay. These can be converted into Virgin Points, Hotels.com credit or various other rewards.

If you remember the Tesco current account debit card, which is now closed to new applicants, it is very similar.

You can learn more about Clubcard Pay on its website here.

What is Tesco Clubcard Pay debit card?

How does Clubcard Pay work?

This is how Clubcard Pay works:

  • Clubcard Pay is a Visa debit card
  • Clubcard Pay has no application fees or annual fees
  • You top it up by loading funds from your current account, which can be with any bank, via the Tesco Bank mobile app
  • You can use the card anywhere that debit cards are accepted
  • You earn 1 Clubcard point for every £8 you spend outside Tesco
  • You do not earn anything when you spend in Tesco, apart from the ‘base’ earning of 1 Clubcard point per £1 spent (Clubcard Pay replaces your standard Clubcard)
  • You earn nothing if you use Clubcard Pay to pay into bank accounts, NSI or other financial institutions (the position with HMRC is not clear), share dealing accounts, gambling accounts or if you withdraw money via ATMs
  • There is a 2.75% foreign exchange fee, so there is no benefit in using this card when you travel

There is an optional extra feature where you can round up each transaction to the nearest £1 and save the money via Tesco Bank. You can disable this and I am ignoring it here.

The Tesco in-store earning rate looks weird ….

Tesco appears to be saying that you won’t earn anything extra on your Tesco spending, after Day 100, but you will earn extra points on spending elsewhere.

For the first 100 days, you WILL earn an extra 1 Clubcard point for every £1 spent at Tesco or in a Tesco garage.

After that, you revert back to your standard Clubcard earning rate of 1 point per £1. This is instead of, and not on top of, the 1 point per £1 you would get for swiping a standard Clubcard.

Here is the text to confirm it:

“For the first 3 months (100 days to be exact) after you open your Clubcard Pay account you’ll collect 2 Clubcard points for every £1 you spend using your Clubcard Pay debit card, on qualifying products in Tesco and on Tesco Fuel (excludes Esso). That’s one extra Clubcard point for every £1 you spend. After 100 days, you will go back to the Clubcard points collection rate you usually get in Tesco when using your Clubcard.”

Double points on Tesco shopping is small change to many HfP readers, however. The key issue is what you earn on general debit card spending.

Based on 1 Clubcard point per £8 spent, you would receive:

  • 2.5 Virgin Points per £8 spent
  • 3p of Hotels.com voucher per £8 spent

….. and so on. The full list of Tesco Clubcard travel redemption partners is here and of course there are many non-travel options too.

Clearly this is not very attractive compared to credit card rewards. It is even worse than it looks, because it is based on a ‘per transaction’ basis. A payment of £7.99 earns you no points. A payment of £15.99 only earns you 1 Clubcard point.

Who should get this card?

If you make substantial and regular payments by debit card – excluding payments to banks, gambling sites, NSI, financial institutions etc – then this looks like an interesting deal.

You will be getting no rewards on your debit card transactions at the moment, so even a paltry sum is better than nothing.

If it works for paying HMRC I could be interested. When you are paying large sums of VAT, PAYE, self-assessment etc even a tiny return like 2.5 Virgin Points per £8 will add up.

It may work for people who can’t justify the £150 annual fee for Curve Metal. Curve Metal allows you to pay HMRC using a Visa or Mastercard credit card for free, earning credit card rewards.

If you are not a big user of debit cards, I don’t see the attraction of Clubcard Pay – especially as you have to keep it topped up via manual transfers which adds extra faff to your life.

You can find out more about Clubcard Pay on the Tesco Bank website here.


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Comments (55)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Небоход says:

    For all of its benefits, the card design is ugly

    It looks like the packaging from a Tesco branded cheap 1980s chocolate bar

    • Rhys says:

      It’s actually quite dull…the lightning isn’t’ part of the design 🙂

  • Chris Heyes says:

    Rob A very interesting and useful article, to inform me not to get ClubCard Pay
    Not even worth getting for 100 days

  • Harrier25 says:

    Another pile of useless rubbish from Tesco.

  • Luckyjim says:

    Whenever the headline is a question, you can be pretty sure the answer to that question is ‘No’.

  • Phil says:

    Maybe it will appeal to the people who use a Monzo account for “spending money” and their regular account for bills and ditch Monzo for this.

  • J says:

    I haven’t used Curve (except for cash) since they brought in fronted, but could now justify metal. Do Creation still have the ~£700 a week limit for certain Curve transactions?

  • Melonfarmer says:

    I might give it a go but am still smarting a bit from Tesco leaving a “hard search” on my file when I bailed out of a credit card application when they said I couldn’t use it with financial institutions.

    This product would be for HMRC only (if available). Basic Curve does for the rest. Life is too short to “maximise” earning opportunities with the interchange fee cap.

  • Venturelog says:

    For top-up you need to enter your bank account details or bank debit card details?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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